Beloved North Carolina indie label Merge Records turns 25 next year, and it’s kicking off the anniversary festivities with, well, Halloween festivities. Label co-founders Superchunk have covered those holiday-appropriate horror-punks Misfits for the occasion. The selection? Early B-side “Children in Heat,” and the scrappy original is well-suited for an energetic, Mac McCaughan-led reading.
“In what has become a sometimes-annual event, we’ve recorded a classic Misfits tune for you on Halloween,” he said in a statement. “We really did try to branch out this year but our version of Alien Sex Fiend’s ‘Now I’m Feeling Zombified’ just wasn’t coming together.”
The track comes free as an instant download with pre-orders (until November 30) of Merge’s 25th anniversary singles-series box set, Or Thousands of Prizes. The release will include 12 seven-inches featuring new tracks from 25 Merge artists. Confirmed so far: Superchunk, Mikal Cronin, Mount Moriah, the Mountain Goats, the Clientele, Destroyer, King Khan & the Shrines, and Lambchop.
Two seven-inches will ship out bimonthly starting in February 2014, but Or Thousands of Prizes contains more than just vinyl. Merge promises a collector’s box; an exclusive 25th-anniversary label T-shirt; a “surprise” bonus 12-inch; a CD and download of all the set’s songs; and an updated e-book of The Merge Records Companion, a visual discography. Plus, subscribers get dibs on tickets to Merge anniversary events and chances to win giveaways year-round.
Proceeds from the subscription-only box set will go to anti-poverty nonprofit Oxfam America.